Algeria Records 2,130 New Cases of Coronavirus    Stellar speaker line-up at Leap conference in Riyadh    Joint Saudi-US exercise concluded in the Eastern Province    Tata Group takes over India's loss-making national carrier    Ukraine crisis: West threatens to ax Russia gas pipeline    Saudi Stock Exchange Main Index Ends Trading Lower at 12,179 Points    KSrelief Distributes More than 24 Tons of Food and Shelter Aid in Kabul, Afghanistan    KSrelief Supervisor General Meets with Ethiopian Finance Minister    Royal Order: February 22 of every year shall be designated to mark commemoration of Saudi State founding under "Founding Day" name, and shall be an official holiday    Saudi Arabia reiterates its warning to violators of isolation and quarantine instructions    Federation of Saudi Chambers Calls for Preparing Roadmap for Arab-Russian Economic Relations    Booster dose: Saudi Arabia updates Covid immunization status starting Tuesday    Prince Andrew denies close friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell    Australian scientists find 'spooky' spinning object in Milky Way    Biden expected to nominate first black woman to US Supreme Court    Salah helps Egypt beat Ivory Coast in shootout at African Cup    'Orange is the New Black' actress Kathryn Kates dead at 73    IsDB Organizes Seminar on Business Opportunities in IsDB-financed Projects    Jordan's Army Kills 27 Drug Smugglers on Border with Syria    Egypt Records 1910 New Cases of COVID-19    All remaining slums in Makkah to be developed soon    Indian community marks Republic Day with patriotic fervor    GACA, KACST sign MoU to establish a center for research & development    British driver Sam Bird sets sight on more triumphs in Saudi Arabia 2022 Diriyah E-Prix    PIF unveils leading gaming and e-sports group    RCU launches direct flights from Paris to AlUla    Saudi Stock Market Index Ends High At 12,182 Points    Royal Commission in Yanbu Achieves Arab Award for Operation and Maintenance    Sir Elton John postpones US shows after positive Covid-19 test    Bollywood's Shilpa Shetty cleared of obscenity over Richard Gere kiss    At least six killed in Cameroon stadium stampede    General Court of Audit President Inaugurates 8th Conference for Internal Audit with Int'l Participation    Taylor Swift slams Damon Albarn over songwriting comments    Omani National Football Team Arrives in Jeddah to Meet Saudi National Team    Saudi Handball Team Loses to Qatar in Main Round of 2022 Asian Men's Handball Championship    Eighth Season of ABB FIA Formula E World Championship to kick off in Diriyah    20th Asian Handball Championship Main Round to Kick off Tomorrow    Riyadh's Qualitative Events Enrich its Winter, Attract World Attention    SFDA: Fat is a Source of Energy and Its Abundance is Linked to Chronic Diseases    Reflections on celebration of Christmas    Royal Commission for AlUla to Hold Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup 2022, Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo    Saudi Arabia's Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai Organizes a Dance Theatrical Show for Children    Saudi Arabia rebuffs UN resolution on 'sexual orientation'    Kabir Khan eyes on joint Indian – Saudi film projects    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers in Arafat Holy Site    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Rwandan president pressures exiled opponents
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 20 - 01 - 2011

The four men were once members of the Rwandan president's inner circle. Now they've fled the country and say they fear for their lives even in exile as he steps up efforts to silence their criticism.
A Rwandan court convicted them in absentia and sentenced them to at least 20 years in prison each if they return home. One also has survived what he believes is an assassination attempt near his home in South Africa, though Rwanda denies any involvement, AP reported.
President Paul Kagame's former attorney general, intelligence chief, army chief and chief of staff all were convicted earlier this month by a Rwandan military court of disturbing public order, threatening state security, sectarianism and criminal conspiracy.
The men once loyal to Kagame now accuse him of threatening both democracy in their homeland and stability across Africa.
In a recent speech to his parliament, Kagame called his four former allies «useless characters» and had a warning for nations that lend them support: «If you live in a grass-thatched house, you should avoid playing with fire because your own house may catch fire.»
Kagame is renowned for his role in helping to end the 1994 genocide during which extremist Hutus killed more than 500,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. But his democratic credentials have been questioned, as has his ability to heal his nation's ethnic divide.
He was re-elected last year after opposition parties were banned from the vote and some Rwandans said they were forced to cast ballots for him. Freedom House noted a «severe crackdown on opposition politicians, journalists and civil society activists in the run-up to a deeply flawed August 2010 presidential election.»
This week Rwandan police said they had asked Interpol member states to arrest the four dissidents and send them home to serve prison sentences. Interpol said Thursday that Rwanda had issued the request on its own, not through the international agency's secretariat.
Former army chief Kayumba Nyamwasa and ex-chief of staff Theogene Rudasingwa were sentenced to 24 years each. Former attorney general Gerald Gahima and intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya were handed 20-year sentences.
«Everybody knows it's a hoax,» Karegeya said, accusing Rwanda's president of orchestrating the trial.
Two of the men are in exile in the United States; the other two are in South Africa. Clayson Monyela, spokesman for South Africa's foreign affairs department, said Thursday his government would have no comment on whether the country would comply with Rwanda's extradition request.
Relations between the two countries already have been tense as South Africa investigates a shooting that wounded one of the four ex-aides last year in Johannesburg. At one point, South Africa went so far as to recall its ambassador to Rwanda and it remains unclear whether the diplomat has returned.
South African prosecutors have refused to say whether they believe the Rwandan government was involved in the June attempt on Nyamwasa's life. Rwandan officials vehemently deny any role, while his supporters hold Kagame's government responsible.
The dissidents say they expect South Africa and the U.S. to continue granting them a haven. Their real fear, they say, is not extradition, but an attack by Kagame's agents.
«It's a very real risk,» Gahima said.
Authorities in South Africa say the plot against Nyamwasa involved 10 suspects from several African countries. Authorities believe it was masterminded by the one Rwandan citizen among the suspects.
And after the shooting failed to kill Nyamwasa, authorities allege the suspects then plotted to strangle Nyamwasa in his hospital bed. The trial is set to begin in July.
Nyamwasa has kept a low profile since being wounded in the attack. Several months later, Spain announced it was seeking his extradition on genocide charges that he denies.
Nyamwasa and other senior Tutsis are accused of waging an extermination campaign against Hutus in retaliation for the 1994 genocide, killing tens of thousands.
Under Spain's broad human rights laws, a Spanish judge has charged Nyamwasa and 39 other members of the Rwandan military with the mass killings of civilians after they seized power in Rwanda following the genocide.
The dissidents deny their opposition to Kagame springs from personal ambition. And Kagame's former chief of staff said it was fair to ask why Rwandans should now trust former Kagame allies.
«We come to them honestly and admitting honestly some of the things we didn't do that we should have done,» Rudasingwa said. «In life, there's always a second chance.»
Rudasingwa was Kagame's envoy to the United States in the mid-1990s, where he denounced criticism of Rwanda by international human rights groups.
-- SPA


Clic here to read the story from its source.